WW2 Nazi German Daggers / Dirks Article
I felt the need to write an article on WW2 Nazi German Daggers
& Dirks and the reasons why this web site does not get involved
in them to any significant degree. We do buy Swastika era bladed
weapons, but we do not go out looking for them; we tend to only
buy WW2 German daggers and swords when they are part of a lot of
other items. We are not prolific dealers in them because of the
absolute nonsense barfed out by collectors and so called experts
of Nazi dirks / daggers / swords.
I have personally been involved in a legal battle over a WW2 German
dagger with self-alleged expert and author Frederick (John) Stephens
and proven what he wrote in an appraisal destined as court evidence
to be utter nonsense. Frederick Johnson makes money from these "expert"
appraisals which, for me, shows they are hardly unbiased. In this
one matter, Frederick Stephens described a German diplomat's dress
dagger, which I am 100% certain is genuine, as a reproduction. In
his appraisal he stated that the Eickhorn trademark to the blade
was clearly laser etched and therefore a fake.
Using a pseudonym and associated email, I contacted Frederick Johnson
on the pretence of an unrelated matter, and sent him a full sized
image of the same trademark on the same dagger blade (without showing
the dagger as a whole), with close up industry images of different
etching patterns and I asked if he agreed the Eickhorn logo was
acid etched and genuine. Frederick Stephens, not realizing this
was the same dagger and logo as in a court testimony appraisal he
had written, said the logo was clearly acid etched and genuine.
I will gladly be an expert witness against his veracity in any other
court proceedings if anyone needs my help; I have other examples
where he has got things very wrong. What makes it even worse is
that Frederick Stephens started employed life in the printing industry,
so he should get etching methods and types right every time, as
printing plates are, that's right, etched.
The person who paid Frederick Stephens for his appraisal lost in
court. I tried to convince him to have the dagger sent to a laboratory
that specializes in determining substances with specialty in organics.
I suggested he do this as, being a German diplomatic dagger, if
the grip pieces were genuine mother of pearl, which I was sure they
are because I have a lot of experience with mother of pearl on antique
daggers, then it would put its authenticity beyond all reasonable
doubt. Unfortunately he did not want to spend any more money on
the subject and sold it on, well below what it was worth in my honest
opinion, no doubt afflicted by Frederick Stephens' appraisal. The
only issue with the dagger I found, which Frederick Stephens failed
to pick up on, was the engraving to the sheath. It was spuriously
engraved with a Nazi German diplomat's name. How do I know it was
spurious, added later to try and increase the value? Because my
later research discovered the named German diplomat is a fictional
character in a well know book about spies during WW2, that is how.
But even with the later spurious engraving, as happens a lot in
all edged weapon markets, I am certain the dagger is 100% authentic.
The guy I believe is a genuine expert is Tom (Thomas T.) Wittmann
is the United States, whom I have had a few email discussions with.
And all of these wannabe experts on forums and elsewhere who decry
anything they do not know about and are likely jealous of, have
a habit of stating items are fakes and "parts daggers"
when they are not. To quote Tom, "Anyhow, you are right that
there is an unnecessary paranoia that persists over daggers being
"parts" pieces all of the time, which, as you say, is
untrue. 98% of the daggers we see are absolutely original, no matter
what some of the bad-mouther's say. This hobby it is often not really
what IS, but rather what collectors think IS".
For me, what I find most incredible about the non-experts is that,
somehow, they allege so many genuine pre-RZM (pre / early war) blades
existed after the war for new bits to be made and added! Really,
if these were stores items, why did the makers have so many and
simply not add their RZM mark when it was mandated, which did happen.
Add to this that Solingen's factories were bombed and burnt to the
ground towards the end of WW2, plus that making Nazi / Swastika
items was illegal in post war Germany, and given the forumite and
other "expert" alleged massive scale of so called "parts
daggers", the extent of actual parts daggerrs is dubious at
I find the WW2 Nazi German dagger collectors market to act contrary
to logic and to my own preferred antique swords market. If an antique
sword is clearly well made (not just solid) and different, experts
relish the research to find out about it. In the Nazi dagger market,
there are very few genuine experts, and the wannabe experts simply
label bespoke items as fake / reproductions or parts daggers, without
being able to cite substantive factual sources. Even if it were
not so, Nazi daggers do very little for me from a personal interest
standpoint and the collector's market does have a large percentage
of right wing extremists / modern day Nazis (who are not prone to
expertise in any field), who I am glad to avoid. There are many
reasonable level-headed dealers and collectors of course, but it
is a minefield and I steer clear of these when I can!
When we sell WW2 German daggers here, we ignore the nonsense. We
look at the blade etching and logo, and fittings quality. The Indian
sub-continent, Eastern European, Spanish and Chinese reproducers
just can not accurately reproduce authentic / high quality German
daggers. Making Nazi items in Germany after the war somehow with
a stash of authentic earlier blades may have happened small scale,
and I doubt very well, but en mass? To quote Sherlock Holmes (yes,
I know he is fictional); "when you have eliminated the impossible,
whatever remains, however improbable (according to the wannabe experts),
must be the truth". As Tom Wittmann said; "98% of the
daggers we see are absolutely original", and I say that if
you can not easily tell the horrible reproductions that make up
the other 2%, then God help you.
For our WW2 and other German daggers and swords, please visit our
German Sword / Daggers Page.